India vs Afghanistan: Who is Navdeep Saini?
Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini has been called up to the India Test squad against Afghanistan, in place of Shami. He saw his hard work in the Ranji Trophy pay the dividends. The right-arm pacer isn't likely to feature in the starting XI, but the call-up will give him a lot of hope. Let's look at the bowler and his journey to the Test squad.
How did Saini end up in the Indian squad?
Delhi speedster Saini, who had a phenomenal Ranji season bagging 34 wickets in 8 games, was rewarded with a national call-up on Monday, after Mohammed Shami failed the Yo-Yo endurance test. The Delhi pacer joined the side captained by Ajinkya Rahane, late on Monday. He was roped in by Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Indian Premier League 2018, but did not get a single game.
Saini was making the right noise
The pacer was in the reckoning with selectors keeping a close eyes on his progress. Saini helped Delhi reach the final of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy after picking a bagful of 34 wickets. He stole the limelight in the semis against Bengal, where he picked 7 wickets in the match. The bowler can ball in excess of 140 kph consistently.
What attributes does he bring in his game?
The Haryana-born bowler has many attributes in his game. He brings variations into play and can swing the ball. He bowls mainly on the fuller side of good length and can surprise batsmen with the yorkers. Further, a key feature of his bowling is that he can reverse swing the ball, which he used extensively in this edition of Ranji Trophy.
A look at his achievements till date
The 25-year-old pacer has 96 wickets in 31 first-class games. He had earned a call-up to the India A side against South Africa in 2017 and picked 7 wickets in 2 matches. He was selected in the Duleep Trophy and also for India A side that took on New New Zealand A. He made it to Irani Trophy and Deodhar Trophy as well.